Shelby Miller injury: Cardinals RHP may not miss a start

Dilip Vishwanat

The rookie right-hander took a hard line drive off his throwing elbow just two pitches into his Wednesday start, but is optimistic the injury will not force him to miss his next turn in the rotation.

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller has some definite soreness in his right elbow after taking a line drive off it Wednesday afternoon, but the rookie is hopeful that he won't have to miss his next start, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:

More Cards: Miller's Craw-zing

"We've all agreed that it's a good chance I'm not going to miss any time," Miller said. "We have an off-day coming up, that's going to help...

"I'll be ready to go when my time comes around."

Miller, 22, sent a panic wave across the greater St. Louis area on Wednesday when his second pitch of the game came off the bat off Carl Crawford and ricocheted off the right-hander's throwing elbow into left field, resulting in a double for Crawford.

The Cardinals immediately removed Miller from the game, fearing the worst, but X-rays came back negative. The club has diagnosed Miller with a deep elbow bruise and will continue to monitor him in the coming days.

St. Louis has an off-day next Monday, so they do have the flexibility to skip Miller's next start -- which would be Tuesday -- without fiddling with the rotation or sending the right-hander to the DL. If the club does decide to skip his start next Tuesday, he'd be pushed back to Aug. 17.

Miller hasn't been quite as untouchable recently as he was in the first two months of the season, but the young right-hander is still a frontrunner for the NL Rookie of the Year award. He owns a 2.89 earned-run average and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly four-to-one in 121⅓ innings this year.

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